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Fact check: Vice President Mike Pence was not arrested as U.S. Capitol was stormed

Update January 7, 2021: Including comment from MPD

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Social media users are sharing posts that claim Vice President Mike Pence was arrested after hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to protest the result of the 2020 presidential election. This claim is false: the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPD) confirmed to Reuters they have not arrested Pence and videos show Pence addressing the Senate after the protestors had left.

The posts (here , here , here) shared between approximately 3pm and 7pm ET on Jan. 6 say, for example, “Multiple reports of Mike Pence being arrested.”; “Breaking: Mike Pence has been arrested for betraying Donald Trump.”; or “Word on the street. Mike pence was arrested.”

Trump, who has repeatedly made unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud in the presidential election, had put pressure on Pence to unilaterally reject state electoral votes to block President-elect Joe Biden’s certification by Congress, but Pence had refused, saying he did not have the power to do so (here) .

Hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, with four people dying in the chaos, but hours later, a shaken Congress formally certified Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory on Thursday, Jan. 7. (here) .

The MPD told Reuters via email that claims that MPD arrested Pence are false: “MPD has not arrested Mike Pence.”

Pence could be seen speaking in the Senate just after 8pm ET on Jan. 6 (after the social media posts falsely reporting his arrest were shared) as shown in a Reuters video here and with a timestamp on CSPAN here .

Pence was then in the House of Representative chamber early on Jan. 7 as Congress resumed its work to certify Biden’s Electoral College votes, as seen in a Reuters video here .

There is no evidence to suggest that Pence was arrested: Pence can be seen speaking and thanking police officers at Capitol Hill in his own tweet (here) . Pence’s press secretary, Devin O’Malley, tweeted that while the Capitol was being stormed, Pence was inside the building, keeping in touch with police to secure the Capitol (here) .

VERDICT

False. MPD confirmed to Reuters they have not arrested Pence. Photos and videos of Pence after the Capitol was cleared show that he was not arrested.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work here .

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